‘Billy the Kid’ star Tom Blyth on Westerns making a comeback in Hollywood: ‘People are longing for it again’


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Tom Blyth was instantly lassoed in when he was provided to play gunfighter Billy the Child.

The British-born, New York-based actor is taking up the position of the legendary outlaw for a brand new EPIX collection titled “Billy the Kid.” The 27-year-old, who grew up watching American Westerns, stated he was desperate to discover the transient and bloody lifetime of the Nineteenth-century gunslinger.

“I grew up with Westerns — reading and watching them,” Blyth instructed Each day Put up Digital. “I grew up very seriously wanting to embody that world. I remember how, at a very young age, I would stay up late at night reading articles about Billy the Kid, Jesse James and people like that. So, for me, this role feels fated to a certain extent. It feels like it was always on the horizon as an actor.”

Tom Blyth stars as Billy the Kid in a new EPIX original series.

Tom Blyth stars as Billy the Child in a brand new EPIX authentic collection.
(Chris Giant/EPIX)

“I moved here six years ago as a 21-year-old, coincidentally the same age that Billy died,” Blyth shared. “I made America my home. I came and trained here as an actor at Julliard. I’ve always felt this pull to America in the same way that his family did because it’s an immigration story. These were Irish immigrants who moved here. So actually, I found more in common, than differences, between us. The more I dug, the more I realized that, yes, he may have been born in New York, but … [his family] came here seeking a better life. I did the same.”


“Billy the Kid” is written by Michael Hirst, creator of “Vikings” and “The Tudors.” The present guarantees to be an epic journey surrounding the lifetime of the outlaw generally known as William H. Bonney — from his humble Irish roots to his early days as a cowboy on the American frontier and past.

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Billy the Child was swept up in what was generally known as the “Lincoln County War” after his British mentor was gunned down by corrupt Sheriff William Brady. He organized the assassination of Brady in revenge, which escalated right into a battle between immigrant factions. Pat Garrett, an Outdated West sheriff, shot and killed the 21-year-old in 1881 after he escaped from the Lincoln County jail in New Mexico. Garrett, who briefly lived in Texas, was later killed in a dispute over a New Mexico ranch.

Tom Blyth said he learned how to ride and shoot for the role.

Tom Blyth stated he discovered journey and shoot for the position.
(Chris Giant/EPIX)

The unique collection comes at a pivotal time for Hollywood the place the Western, a seemingly forgotten style, is experiencing a comeback.

After Kevin Costner-led “Yellowstone” turned a smash hit, the Paramount+ streaming service ordered the collection “1932” concerning the roots of the Dutton ranching household first launched within the modern drama. In February, the service additionally introduced that the primary prequel, “1883,” will probably be again for a second season. Sam Elliott, Tim McGraw and Religion Hill are amongst its stars.

In 2021, “The Harder They Fall” made its mark in each theaters and Netflix, whereas “Outer Range” could be discovered on Amazon. At this 12 months’s Oscars, Jane Campion received for greatest director in “The Power of the Dog,” which earned 11 nominations. “Old Henry,” an motion Western, additionally premiered late final 12 months.

Tom Blyth noted that Westerns are having a resurgence in Hollywood.

Tom Blyth famous that Westerns are having a resurgence in Hollywood.
(Chris Giant/EPIX)

Blyth famous that “it’s undeniable” that Westerns are having a resurgence, however he isn’t shocked.

“We’ve just come out of this two-year period where we were locked down and there was a real restriction on our personal freedoms and ability to go outside,” he mirrored. “People are longing for the Western genre again, where it’s wild. We have to remember it was one of the first Hollywood genres. It was one of the first types of movies we ever got to see. So there’s already that nostalgia there for it.

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“However I believe it’s actually that eager for the open vary, the sensation of somebody using out into the nightfall with that pack on their saddle and a gun on their hip,” he continued. “There’s a romanticism in it, which I believe we’re eager for after two years of being locked up. We’re longing to see these heroes who had this barely rogue freedom about them.”

Billy the Kid was just 21 when he died, but his legend lives on in Hollywood.

Billy the Child was simply 21 when he died, however his legend lives on in Hollywood.
(Getty Pictures)

It’s a longing Blyth might determine with. He was desperate to do his personal stunts, in addition to discover ways to journey and shoot.

“We filmed in Alberta, Canada, which is very much still the Wild West. Those guys still live and breathe Western culture,” he stated. “They’re very proud of it. So when I got up there, first of all, I was glad to be in a place where people were living that reality every day. As an actor, you don’t want to feel like you’re doing a bad impersonation. You want to feel like you’re experiencing it with them. It also comes with a slight pressure because I only had three weeks of horse training before joining the real cowboys of Alberta.

“I positively was intimidated,” he added. “I jumped on a horse the primary day and thought they have been going to snicker … however they didn’t. They have been actually welcoming … And after 5 months on the market within the mountains and the prairies, I felt like one in every of them. That’s a testomony to how a lot they needed to share the Western tradition and journey with me. I turned a part of the posse in a approach. And it was an absolute pleasure to take action.”

Tom Blyth, a British actor, lives in New York.

Tom Blyth, a British actor, lives in New York.
(Chris Giant/EPIX)

There was one other problem Blyth was confronted with. Regardless of Billy the Child’s notoriety in historical past, there’s additionally loads of thriller behind the person. There’s just one {photograph} of him so far that’s been authenticated by each students and historians.

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A number of pictures purporting to function him have surfaced through the years. Nonetheless, they’ve been dismissed by consultants. Little is understood about his early days, and a few even speculated that he wasn’t killed in 1881. Within the late ’40s, one aged Texas man claimed he was Billy the Child, however his story was discredited.

Billy the Child’s legend grew as Hollywood was shaped. His story was first instructed on display screen within the 1911 silent movie “Billy the Kid.” He has since been the topic of greater than 50 movies that includes stars like Roy Rogers, Paul Newman, Val Kilmer and Emilio Estevez, amongst others.

Tom Blyth attends the

Tom Blyth attends the “Billy The Kid” premiere at Concord Gold April 21, 2022, in Los Angeles.
(Jon Kopaloff/Getty Pictures for EPIX)

For Blyth, he’s hoping that audiences will come alongside for the journey as soon as extra.

“In a way, it gives you license because he is well known and yet so much about him is based on people’s opinions,” stated Blyth. “He lived a long time ago. We don’t have any footage of him. [But] in a way, it gives you freedom because you get to honor [the role] as best as you can.

“Emilio Estevez acquired to do his model, as did Val Kilmer and lots of others, many superb actors earlier than me. At this level, I’ve to present myself permission to let him spark one thing in me. As soon as the strain subsided, it’s simply an honor to have the ability to comply with within the footsteps of some unimaginable, iconic actors … it has been a pleasure to play this character who’s so expensive to me.”

“Billy the Kid” airs on Sundays on EPIX. The Related Press contributed to this report.


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